Blog Post

GD Rating System Pro 2.3: Phoebe

GD Rating System Pro 2.3 is a major new version that brings: accessibility for all default rating methods, improvements to rich snippets, dynamic load, tooltip addons, new Emote This method templates and more.

The new version of the rating plugin includes long changelog that improves plugin core, Emote This method, Thumbs Rating method, accessibility for rating blocks, expanded Rich Snippets support, improved Dynamic Load and much more.

Rating Methods

Emote This and Thumbs Rating methods have been improved. Emote This includes several new templates using tooltips to display the list of users votes and even the emotions rating block. Thumbs Rating method has few new themes and a new template with special customizations.

Emote This using tooltips
‘Emote This’ using tooltips

Core Loop and Templates

To make work with templates easier, all default templates now have own subfolders based on the rating method. And, to make templates easier to understand and code, plugin includes main loop object for use inside the template, and this object will handle the active method and other things.

Accessibility

One of the most problematic issues with the rating blocks is how to make the look nice and customisable and in the same time, make them accessible. This new version tries to do just that for all default rating methods. Screen readers should be able to see the drop down elements and buttons for submittal of ratings, and the default rating blocks are hidden. Current solutions used are maybe not perfect, but if you find any issues with the accessibility, please let me know, and I will work to improve it.

Rich Snippets

Addon for rich snippets has been updated with a lot of new features. To support various rich snippets itemscopes, the plugin has additional options to include publish/modify dates, publisher, author and other things. You have global settings for these, and for each post, you can override settings.

Updated snippet settings
Updated snippet settings

In the same time, both microdata and JSON-LD rich snippet generators are improved and more flexible for the eventual new updates in the future. The plugin also has additional settings for setting Publisher/Organisation name and logo (to override website name). JSON-LD will be set as new default snippet format for new plugin installations because Google has much better support for it, and it is more flexible than microdata.

New updates allow for a lot more itemscopes to be supported. But, the plugin will never be able to support every itemscope because some of them require specialised settings and that goes well beyond the scope of this plugin. If you need support for itemscopes that require more data to be included, you need to create your own code that will hook into the plugin and expand generated snippet with extra data.

Dynamic Load

One of the major issues with older versions was the use of Dynamic Load addon that renders rating blocks using AJAX so that websites with cache use can show actual ratings to visitors. This addon was working fine in most cases, but the major problem was with the long comments pages where each rating block generates one AJAX call, and this can cause severe performance problems. Now, this is changed, and the plugin creates only one AJAX call per page, and it can return all the rating blocks at once.

Other changes

And, that’s not all. The plugin’s main JavaScript library is improved for better performance and it is about 10% lighter.  There are improvements to the tooltips, plugin settings, rendering and more. And, fixes for the posts sorting order, problems with the shortcodes, dynamic load initialization and more.

It is very important to update Multi Ratings Addon and User Reviews Addon too. New versions of both addons are updated to work with GD Rating System Pro 2.3, and they don’t include new features, just compatibility updates. Both these addons will get major updates next month that will include Multi Thumbs Rating method and support for WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads plugins in User Reviews Addon.

If you find any issues with the plugin, please use the support forum to report them.

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GD Rating System Pro plugin for WordPress
Ultimate rating plugin for WordPress

Powerful, highly customizable and versatile ratings plugin to allow your users to vote for anything you want. Includes different rating methods and add-ons.

About the author

Milan Petrovic
Milan Petrovic

CEO and Lead developer of Dev4Press Web Development company, working with WordPress since 2008, first as a freelancer, later founding own development company. Author of more than 250 plugins and more than 20 themes.

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2 thoughts on “GD Rating System Pro 2.3: Phoebe”

  1. Google search this article on this page, but the stars do not come out.

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    Reply
    • Google can’t be forced to show stars in search results, even when the rich snippet is fully compliant. Check out this user guide related to the subject: https://support.dev4press.com/kb/user-guide/rich-snippets-for-ratings/.

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